A word from Lizzy…


Lizzy Cowan, a counselling volunteer at the Rape Crisis office in Observatory.

We are giving our Rape Crisis website a makeover and I am happy to announce that the new ‘Counselling’ content was launched today. 

Writing the new content has made me reflect on my own time counselling at Rape Crisis. Quite simply, it has been a wonderfully rewarding experience!

I have always strongly rejected the high levels of rape and violence against women in South Africa and believe that most women in this country remain damagingly disempowered. I grew up in an exceptionally patriarchal family and was at loggerheads with my father ever since I was a teenager old enough to realise that the women in our household were seriously undermined – especially my most beloved Mum. So when, driving home one day, I heard our most able director, Kath, on Cape Talk recruiting new volunteer counsellors for training, my attention was immediately caught.

I phoned Rape Crisis as soon as I got home to ask how I could apply to volunteer and here I am six years later, enriched by being part of this wonderful organisation. The training course that set me off as a counsellor taught me invaluable skills that have been of benefit to me in all spheres of my life. The staff I work with are truly wonderful women, selflessly dedicated to helping other women.


The Counselling Coordinators of Rape Crisis’s three offices, Joyce Doni (Khayelitsha), Shiralee McDonald (Observatory) and Barbara Williams (Athlone).

I have met the most amazing women during counselling sessions, women who have bowled me over with their dignity, bravery and strength: women who move forward with their lives despite extremely difficult circumstances. In sessions, I sometimes sit with indescribable pain and am truly humbled and saddened, but I know that Rape Crisis has given me the skills to ably assist each and every client along her path to recovery and this carries me forward, for our respectful counselling approach where we empower our survivors to regain control in their lives within a safe, empathic environment, is a worthy and enduring one.   

Our organisation has been through stressful financial times recently and although we are not yet in safe waters, we are hopefully going to get there. Rejuvenating and updating our website is an important part of this process, of remaining relevant and current and I am happy to be part of it. 

Click here to read this new content about Rape Crisis’s counselling services.

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About rapecrisisblog

We have a vision of a South Africa in which rape survivors suffer no secondary trauma, and are supported throughout their interaction with the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Our mission is to promote an end to violence against women, specifically rape, and to assist women to achieve their right to live free from violence. Rape Crisis Cape Town seeks to achieve its mission through counselling and training of women, thereby reducing the trauma experienced by rape survivors, and encouraging reporting of rape and the conviction of rapists.

2 thoughts on “A word from Lizzy…

  1. Hi, I am a retired police officer.Iam a student at Unisaand is contemplating to coductresearch into the phenomonon of rape foe doctoral thesis.Ineed anypolicydocument fromstate department that provide insight what that department are doing or intent to do to prevent rape.I am finding it very difficult,almost impossible to obtain such documents,can you assist?

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